Restaurants face ban on taking staff tips

5th Oct 2018

Restaurants are to be legally banned from taking shares of staff tips, as announced by Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday. 

The forthcoming legislation – which will apply in England, Scotland and Wales – aims to stop hospitality brands from deducting up to 10% from employees’ tips.

At the Conservative Party Conference, Ask, Belgo, Bella Italia, Café Rouge, Giraffe, Prezzo, Strada and Zizzi were named as major chains that had deducted tips.

On announcing the move, the Prime Minister commented: “The unemployment rate under this government is now the lowest since the 1970s – but we want to ensure that everyone is treated fairly in the workplace.

“That's why we will introduce tough new legislation to ensure that workers get to keep all of their tips – banning employers from making any deductions.”

A government consultation found that restaurant customers are strongly supportive of the tips they pay going to their servers, and highlighted that the change would be fairer for both workers and customers.

However, Kate Nicholls, UK Hospitality's Chief Executive, claimed that the move was unnecessary, as restaurants had acted voluntarily in the wake of a public outcry over the issue in 2015, when it was revealed that many high street chains approved the practice of taking up to 10% of tips paid by credit and debit card.

Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, commented: “The latest government announcement to ensure restaurants fairly distribute tips is sure to benefit customers and workers alike. Institute research shows 83% of consumers want businesses to be clearer about the cost of cover charges, so this move towards transparency and choice could see them tipping more generously. Customers are still keen to reward excellent service, but they deserve to know exactly where their money is going.”

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